The combination of tourism and health is a very tempting formula for many foreigners visiting Argentina. The professional quality, the high standards of technology and infrastructure, the blue dollar exchange rate and the low medical costs for foreigners are some of the keys to the flourishing medical tourism.
Savings for tourists coming from abroad can range from 40 to 80%. Also, a novelty: many choose treatments to lose weight or control stress.
According to data from the Argentine Chamber of Medical Tourism (CATM), before the pandemic, the country received a monthly average of 1,000 foreigners seeking surgeries or treatments.
"In the first half of 2022, 60% recovered and in the second stage of the year, we expect to reach 100%. Forty percent come for treatment from Latin American regions such as Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay and Chile. They also come from the United States, Canada and Europe," said Miguel Cané, president of CATM.
Medical tourism can reach an annual average turnover of US$ 250 million and allows the development of numerous skilled jobs. "The medical tourist usually spends seven times more than the traditional tourist. On average, the cost of medical practices in Argentina represents 25% of what is paid in the United States," Cané explains.
Why Treatment Seekers Choose Argentina
Visitors usually choose Argentina because of the cost, since, for example, a virtual consultation can cost between 40 and 50 dollars when abroad it costs twice as much.
Foreign patients choose to undergo a cardiovascular procedure in Argentina because of the exchange rate and because there is scientific data published with the same results as in the large centers in the United States. For example, “a medium complexity surgery costs US$ 15,000 while in New York it costs US$ 150,000", distinguishes Gustavo Cerezo, head of outpatient medicine at the Cardiovascular Institute of Buenos Aires.
The Top 10 Medical Tourism Treatments
Within curative, aesthetic and preventive or wellness medicine, which make up the three main areas of medical tourism, the practices most requested by foreigners are:
- Invasive cardiovascular treatments
- Aesthetic and reconstructive surgery procedures
- Traumatological surgery
- Ophthalmological surgical treatments
- Neurosurgery and neurological rehabilitation treatments
- Liver and bone marrow transplantation, oncology, and onco-gynecology
- Personalized medical wellness programs
- Surgical treatment of obesity
- Oncology: personalized treatments, studies, diagnostics and nuclear medicine treatment
- Intrauterine fetal interventions
New: Preventive and Wellness Medicine
Proactive medicine treatments that propose a new paradigm is also a trend in Argentina: to take health to the highest possible level, without waiting to get sick to improve it. These are comprehensive and personalized programs aimed at improving the quality of life in a natural environment.
Designed by an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary team, they include a medical follow-up that seeks to recover well-being and improve the physical, psychological and emotional condition.
They address five key areas: proper nutrition, physical activity, reduction of drug consumption, rest and stress control. The objective is to generate a click in the person so that they implement healthy habits in their daily life.
Argentina mostly welcomes patients from neighboring countries, such as Chile, Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia, but also, some from the United States. Treatment programs cost between 70 and 80% less than what they would cost in the United States.